It’s that time of year again. Children huddle in corners discussing how they never want to eat another zucchini for the rest of their lives (seriously, I over heard this comment along with another 8 year old wishing his mother knew another way to cook the dreaded zucchini).
Everyone is walking around with surplus produce that they want to give away. It’s important to walk with your eyes down, if you make eye contact….you get tomatoes. Yesterday for lunch I served roasted tomatoes with a side of raw sliced tomatoes. An innocent question, "Do you like tomatoes?" and the next thing you know you’ve got a plastic shopping bag full of them. This has happened to me twice now…both times I was caught off guard by the banality of the question. They wait until you are distracted, pop the question…and there you go, tomatoes for lunch and dinner.
Last night as we were cleaning up and closing the taverna, I found a bag of huge yellow peppers that had been stashed and apparently forgotten in a corner. I brought them around to put in the refrigerator and everyone insisted that I take the whole bag. Iva immediately started chanting a recipe for pepperoni sotto olio (roasted peppers in oil) as if I would be lured into an afternoon of canning by listening to her magical recipe. I told her I knew how to make them, she insisted I could bring them all back to New York, ready to eat, that it would be a marvelous thing. I agreed to take one pepper, I left with two and a promise to take some tomatoes off of Iva’s hands.
However, last night the question was, "Do you like melons?" Now, melons are much harder to come by, so I immediately agreed with Simonetta that melons were good. Today the melon showed up right before lunch, and the smell was intoxicating, the flavor almost too sweet, but paired with some donated proscuitto from John & Libby, it made for a divine lunch.
I think they should rename the festa to be Donation of the Santa Pomodoro, but what do I know?